For decades, sci-fi movies have promised us intelligent computers that respond to natural-language commands and can even hold a conversation. With Google Home and Amazon Echo, which answers to the name of Alexa, some say the future has officially arrived.
These so-called "voice-activated knowledge devices" use cloud-based AI to serve up answers to your every question. But are they equally smart?
Digital marketing firm Stone Temple Consulting thought it was time for a performance test, posing 5,000 questions to both Amazon Echo and Google Home to determine how many each device could answer correctly.
"It's very important to note that our test is NOT a test of all the capabilities of both devices," the company stressed. "Our test focused on the ability to provide direct answers to specific user questions. In short, we're only testing the ability of each device to provide factual answers to questions."
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In terms of accurate knowledge, the contest showed that Google Home was the clear winner.
Stone Temple first counted the number of questions that each device attempted to answer. This is a strong indicator of the device's ability to recognize natural-language queries. In that head-to-head showdown, Google owned the category. Google Home attempted to answer 68 percent of the 5,000 total questions, while Amazon Echo hazarded a guess for only 21 percent.